Lúghnasadh

From "The Wheel Of The Year At Muin Mound Grove, ADF"

By Rev. Robert Lee (Skip) Ellison

© 2001

1) Consecration of Space followed by Musical Signal when finished. (Bell)
The musical signal is usually given by ringing a bell a total of nine times in groups of threes.

2) Processional.
This chant is usually sung as people are approaching and entering our Nemeton area over the bridge.
Chant - Blessed With The Waters of Life (Words & Music by Alex DelBusso) - MP3
We are blessed with the waters of life
And the air that we breathe
Will bring us freedom

And the fire that we kindle tonight
On this sacred earth
Will bring us together
Spirits together

3) Aspurging and Censing as people enter the area. (Water and incense)
Aspurging is done by sprinkling each person with water from a chalice while saying
" May we wash away all Earthly cares."
Censing is done by fanning incense smoke around each person while saying
"May the Spirit rise within you."

4) Sigil Marking / Opening Prayer.
A short declaration of why we are here is spoken, such as:
"O Ancient Ones, We are here to honor you and to preserve the old ways. We have come tonight to celebrate the harvest and to consecrate its first fruits. We join together to renew our connection to you and to the sacred land."
(Forcefully) "We are here to honor the Gods!" *
"TÁ MUID ANSEO CHUN ONÓIR A THABHAIRT DO NA DÉITHE!"
(ta mid anshow khun onoh'r a havart do na day-a)
(All repeat) "We are here to honor the Gods!"
*This line is spoken forcefully, first in English, then in Gaelic, and the English part repeated by those assembled, while two people mark the Sigil by stepping back a pace outside the circle, then crossing to the opposite side and through the circle by a pace, then returning to their starting positions.

5) Honoring the Earth Mother. (Cornmeal offering).
In our Grove, we usually honor the Earth Mother with a poem written by one of our members (Gloria), followed by a chant. An offering of cornmeal is poured to the Earth around the circle as the poem is being read. One of her poems for Lúghnasadh is given here.

Mother of Diversity,
Do you wonder where your children are tonight?
Scattered beyond the directions,
Caught in the currents of life--

Mother, put your tears away,
Not one is afraid or alone--
You taught us to care for each other
When you set us free to Become.

You've always been a good Mother
Allowing for differences, filling each need--
Remember how You set wind free
When her restless way would not be stilled?

Mother of All, be of comfort,
Sister Sea, Brother Fire, Wildflower, Sky,
Legged, Rooted, Scale-skinned, Fleet-winged,
From everywhere we cry out as one,
We are here. We are where we belong.

Chant - As One (Author Unknown) - MP3
As One we join with Her, our Mother.
As One we sing to Her our song.
As One we touch Her
As One we heal Her
Her heart beats with our own as One.

At this time, it is our custom to bestow a kiss upon the Earth while the presiding Druid says:
"And it is the custom among our people, our folk and our grove, to bestow a kiss upon our Mother."

6) Invoking the Bardic Deities
This is usually done by the presiding Bard.
"Lady Brigit, first mother. Lady Brigit I call to you. With the silence in my heart, from your call within my mind, with your kiss upon my lips. I call you, I call you, I call you. Lady Brigit I call to you. Bring us your inspiration. Lend us your honey tongue. Oh, Lady Brigit, Oh Lady Brigit, I call you home. I call you here."

7) Expression of Unity.

Chant - You Are My People (Author Unknown) - MP3
You are my People and you are healing me
You are my People and you are healing me
You are my People, We Are One, We Are One
You are my People, We Are One

8) Two Power Meditation Earth & Sky.
Two people, male and female, with one doing the Earth part and the other the Sky part usually lead this meditation. We do this to incorporate the subtle energy difference between the sexes. We start by having the people get ready to meditate. Slow their breathing down, take deep, full breathes, clear their minds, etc. We then tell them to start using their "inner vision," that's found in their mind's eye.

"(Voice One) Close your eyes and find that quiet still place within. Breathe deep. Feel the warmth of the night around you. Listen to the sounds of the woods around you. Let your mind move, out of your body and then down. Down through the soil, down through the rocks. As it moves down, fell the earth around you. Feel it with all your senses. Smell the rocks and the soil. Listen to the water flowing. Let your senses move down to where you can feel the movement of the energies of the Earth. This is the energy that continually flows around and through the Earth. Let these energies move into your being and then bring it back up with you. Back along the corridor of your being that you created when you sent your mind out. As this energy flows up with you, allow it to move out of your being and into our Grove. Watch as it swirls and flows and moves among us.

"(Voice Two) And with that energy of the Earth, moving and flowing within our Grove, allow your mind to once again move out. This time let it move upward, up through the clouds and up toward the stars. As it moves through the clouds, allow all of your senses to feel the clouds and the Sky. Smell the moisture as you pass the clouds. Hear the sound of the air moving past. Taste the water on your lips. As your mind moves even farther up, up past the air, the stars become bright and strong to your feelings. You can feel the flow of energy among and between the stars. Let that energy from the stars move into your being. Let that energy flow down along your being till it fills your body and then overflows into our Grove. See the swirls of the energies as they mix, energies from the Earth and from the Skies and from each of us. Be at peace and filled with these energies as our Ritual continues. Now open your eyes secure in the knowledge that we are one in this Grove and filled with energy.

9) Creation Myth
This myth was borrowed from Sassafras Grove in Pittsburgh, PA. It was written by Eric Cannali and shared with us at the Wellspring Gathering in 1998.
"THE CREATION MYTH
Who are we? From whence do we come? What is the story of Our People?
Ni ansa
(Pronounced Nee an-sa)
Not hard...
A great misty cloud had gathered together in the void
Swirling and spiraling; spiraling and swirling
Drawing ever-in upon itself.

At its center a radiance shone forth
And drove outward the surrounding cloud
gathering the waters together here below.

And so it was that the stuff of creation drew apart
To form the Fire Above
And the Waters Below.

The Solar Fire warmed the Cauldron of Creation
And stroked upon its waters with thunderbolts
And begat upon it Life.

And the Life begat the Creatures
And the Creatures begat the Ancestors
And the Ancestors begat Us; the Living People.

Upright, like you, Great Tree
We bear upon us the mark of Creation
Then, now, and for all time.

Rooted in the ancestral waters of the World Below,
Spanning this Middle-World of form
And reaching ever-upward to embrace the Fire Above."

10) Historical Precedent
This section is when a little history of the holiday is given. The presiding Druid usually does it.
"This holiday is mainly about Lúgh. Lúgh started the games at Telltown, of which our celebration is a remnant, in honor of his foster mother, Tailtiu. The games there were usually a festival that lasted up to a month long. There were games of martial skill, horse and chariot racing and games of skill and chance. It was the time when all the tribes would come together to meet and play and learn from each other. It was a time when the Druids of the tribe would talk of laws and give out justice. It was a time when fighting, other than in games, was banned. We come together tonight in celebration of that joyous time."

11) Naming the Deities of the Ritual - Lúgh (pronounced Loo)

A Lúgh! A Lúgh! A Lúgh!
Lúgh of the shining light,
Lúgh of the long arm,
Master of all skills equally.

(Forcefully) "We acknowledge your powers!"
All repeat) "We acknowledge your powers!"

12) Establishing the Vertical Axis. (Silver (Well) and Oil (Fire & Tree) offerings)

Chant - Portal Song (Words by Ian Corrigan) - MP3
Come we now to the well, the eye and the mouth of earth
Come we now to the well, and silver we bring
Come we now to the well, the waters of rebirth
Come we now to the well, together we sing

Chorus:
By fire and by water, between the earth and sky
We stand like the world tree, rooted deep, crowned high
By fire and by water, between the earth and sky
We stand like the world tree, rooted deep, crowned high

We will kindle a fire, bless, all and with harm to none
We will kindle a fire, and offering pour
We will kindle a fire, a light neath the moon and sun
We will kindle a fire, our spirits will soar
Chorus

Gather we at the tree, the root and the crown of all
Gather we at the tree, below and above
Gather we at the tree, together we make our call
Gather we at the tree, in wisdom and love
Chorus

13) Establishing the Boundaries. (Cornmeal (Land), Water (Sea) & Incense (Sky) offerings)
First person pours corn meal around the outside of the sacred space saying,
"We ask that the Earth not open up and swallow us."

Second person sprinkles water around the outside of the sacred space saying,
"We ask that the Seas not rise up and drown us."

Third person throws incense and flour into the fire saying,
"We ask that the Sky not fall down upon us."

14) Evoking the Gatekeeper. (Oil offering)
Chant - We invoke Manannan (Words by Sable)
We invoke Manannan / Opener of every Gate
We invoke Manannan / Opener of every Gate
He will reach us / He will teach us
And reveal our fate
He will reach us / He will teach us
And reveal our fate

"Manannan, this offering is for you. We call to you on this night to ask you aid once again. We call to ask you to be our Magician, our Druid and our Gatekeeper. Manannan, we ask you to come from over the seas to be with us and to give us your aid. Manannan, I ask you now to join your strength with mine.

Manannan, let the well open as a gate and let the fire open as a gate and let the tree open as the conduit between all the planes."
(Forcefully) "O Manannan, open the Gates for us!"
"A MHANANNAIN, OSCLAÍTEAR NA GEATAÍ!"
(awananan, oscleechar na gyatee)
(All repeat) "O Manannan, open the Gates for us!"

15) Acknowledgement of Outsiders. (Ale offering)
A cup of ale is taken to the south, outside of the ritual space, and given to the outsiders after saying:
"Outdwellers, this offering is for you. You of the Formorians, of the Fir Bolg, of all the Elder races that stood against our Gods. We ask that you take this offering of ale and leave this place in peace. Outdwellers, this is for you!"

15) Triad Invocations:
This chant is sung as all three Kindred invocations are being spoken softly in the background and the offerings being given.

Chant - Gods and Dead and Mighty Sidhe (Words and music by Ian Corrigan) - MP3
Gods and Dead and Mighty Sidhe,
Powers of Earth and Sky and Sea,
By Fire and Well, by Sacred Tree,
Offerings we make to ye.

A) Ancestors. (Cornmeal offering)
The offering is sprinkled around the inside of the circle. The person giving the offering speaks an invocation at this time.
"We give this offering to you Ancestors. We ask that you take this offering of the harvest of the Earth and be with us tonight!"

B) Nature Spirits. (Herbal mix offering)
The offering is sprinkled around the inside of the circle. An invocation is spoken at this time by the person giving the offering, such as:
"We give this offering to you Spirits of this Place. We ask that you take this offering of the herbs of summer and be with us tonight!"

C) Gods/Goddesses. (Oil offering)
The offering is sprinkled around the inside of the circle. The person giving the offering, such as speaks an invocation at this time:
"We give this offering to you Shinning Ones. We ask that you take this offering of the oil of the trees and be with us tonight!"
After the song and invocations are completed, the following is spoken.
(Forcefully) "Kindreds, be with us tonight!"
(All repeat) "Kindreds, be with us tonight!"

17) Invocation of Deities Lúgh. (Oil and bread offerings)
As the invocation is spoken, an offering of oil and part of a loaf of fresh bread is given to the fire.
"We call to Lúgh, Lúgh of the Long Arm, master of all arts. We ask that you bring your skill to us once again as we ask you here to partake in the first fruits of the harvest. You've shown us how to take care of the grains and how to reap the harvest. Join with us now Lúgh to eat the breads baked with the harvest! Our grain has grown heavy and ripe as we're brought back the wheat of our ancestors. Join with us Lúgh and accept our offerings!

"And at this time we call upon our Grove patron and matron, Dagda and Morrigan, and ask them to join with us tonight for our working."

18) Praise Offerings.
Done through individual offers of song, poetry, story, dance, artwork, etc.

19) Omen.
As the omen is being taken, the chant 'Speak to Me' is softly sang in the background and continues until the omen has been taken. The name of any individual God/dess, Ancestor, or Nature Spirit can be substituted for the words 'Goddesses' and 'all the Gods' after the first repetition.

Chant - Speak to Me (Words by Phoenix) - MP3
Speak to me
Speak to me Goddesses
Speak to me
Speak to me all the Gods
One person with either runes or ogham cards or sticks usually does the omen. After the omen is interpreted, people are given time to reflect upon how the omen is relevant to their personal lives and the grove as a whole.

20) Return Flow
It is our belief that having given offerings to the Kindreds, that they will return the blessings to us, magnified many times. The return flow section is started by having three people, the Presiding Druid and two members of the Folk of the Grove, hold up the Heartstone, a large cup of water, a large horn of ale and a loaf of fresh baked bread. The Presiding Druid then calls for the return flow to begin.

"Please join hands and close your eyes. At this harvest season, we call now upon all those that have received our offerings. We ask that you take the offerings that have been given and let them fill your needs and desires, knowing that they were given in love and honor. After your desires are fill, we ask that you return your blessings to us. We ask that you allow your blessings to flow into this stone of crystal, this chalice of water, and this horn of ale and into this loaf of bread. We ask that you allow your blessings to fill and sustain us.
(Forcefully) "Behold, the Waters of Life!"
"SEO AN USICE BEATH!"
(show un ishkuh byah)
(All repeat) "Behold, the Waters of Life!"

The cup of water, horn of ale and loaf of bread are then taken around and given to the people while the chant is being sung. It is the custom in our Grove to give the first offering of the return flow to the ground while saying:
"We give this first offering to those of the Folk and of the members of the Grove that couldn't be with us tonight. May these blessing give them the strength and nourishment to do what they need!"

Chant - Share The Waters (First verse by Ian Corrigan, second verse by Phoenix) - MP3
Share the waters / Raise the Cup
Drink your fill of wisdom deep
Strength and joy now fill you up
in the elder ways we keep

Share the first loaves / Break the bread
Eat the fruits of Mother Earth
Strength and joy now fill you up
in the elder ways we keep

21) Thanking the Deities Lúgh. (Oil gift)
As the parting is spoken, a gift of oil is poured into the fire.
"Lúgh, we thank you for the skill you have taught us. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return."
(Forcefully) "Lúgh, We thank you!"
"Lúgh, GO RAIBH MAITH AGAIT!"
(Loo, gora ma-agit)
(All repeat) "Lúgh, We thank you!"

22) Thanking the Triads.
A) Gods/Goddesses. (Oil gift)
As the parting is spoken, a gift of oil is poured into the fire.
"We thank now all the Shinning Ones that have joined with us tonight. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return."
(Forcefully) "Gods and Goddesses, We thank you!"
"NA DÉITHE, GO RAIBH MAITH AGAIBH!"
(Na Day-uh, gora ma-agiv)
(All repeat) "Gods and Goddesses, We thank you!"

B) Nature Spirits. (Oil gift)
As the parting is spoken, a gift of oil is poured into the fire.
"We thank now all the Spirits of the Earth that have joined with us tonight. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return."
(Forcefully) "Spirits of the Earth, We thank you!"
"SPRIDEANNA NA TALAIMH, GO RAIBH MAITH AGAIBH!"
(Shprih-dennuh nuh tulluv, gora ma-agiv)
(All repeat) "Spirits of the Earth, We thank you!"

C) Ancestors. (Oil gift)
As the parting is spoken, a gift of oil is poured into the fire.
"We thank now all the Ancestors that have joined with us tonight. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return."
(Forcefully) "Ancestors, We thank you!"
"ÁR SINSIR, GO RAIBH MAITH AGAIBH!"
(Aur shinshur, gora ma-agiv)
(All repeat) "Ancestors, We thank you!"

23) Thanking the Gatekeeper and Closing the Gates. (Oil gift)
As the parting is spoken, a gift of oil is poured into the fire.
"Manannan, once again you have lent your strength to mine. You have been our Gatekeeper and Magician. Now that our rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return."

"Manannan, I ask you once again to, let the Well be again a well, and let the Fire be again a fire, and let the Tree be again a tree."
(Forcefully) "O Manannan, let the gates be closed!"
"A MHANANNAIN, DUNTAR NA GAETAÍ!"
(awananan, doontur na gyatee)
(All repeat) "O Manannan, let the gates be closed!"

24) Reversing the Two Power Meditation
This meditation is reversed at the end of the ritual by having the people allow the energies to move back to their source.
"(Voice Two) Please join hands and close your eyes. Our ritual is now coming to a close. Now it is time to take that energy from the Skies, which you brought down to this sacred place and let it flow back through you back to where it came from. Using your inner vision see the energies flowing around us. Let those energies from the Sky move into your being and then let it move back up, up toward the stars. Keep what you need to remain, filled and at peace, but let the rest go.

"(Voice One) And as you look around you, still using your inner vision, you can see the energies of the Earth flowing around our Nemeton. Let this energies move into your being and from there, go back to where they came from. And as they pass through you, keep what you need and let the rest go. Open your eyes and look around you to the other people here and to the Nemeton itself. Be at peace with yourself and with the others here."
(Forcefully) "Biodh amhlaidh! Be it so!"
(bee awlah)
(All repeat) "Biodh amhlaidh! Be it so!"

25) Announcement of End.
Everyone comes together in a group hug as the chant is sung. This chant is especially meaningful if everyone looks around the circle and into people's eyes as it is sung.

Chant - All I Ask of You (Sufi chant - author unknown) - MP3
All I ask of you
Is forever to remember me
As loving You

26) Recessional
As the chant is sung, people start to leave the ritual area.

Chant - Walk With Wisdom (Words by Sable) - MP3
Walk with wisdom, from this hallowed place
Walk not in sorrow, our roots shall ere embrace
May strength be your brother, and honor be your friend
and luck be your lover, until we meet again

Last updated - 4/6/04